The names Napa and Napa Valley have very solid name recognition around the world. Their most common association is of course wine. If we see the words Napa Valley or even just the word Napa on labels or advertising for wine, we’re likely to think that the wine was made from grapes grown in Napa.That could be a logical conclusion, but there’s a problem in this scenario which is the misuse of Napa. This misuse occurs in wine advertising that uses the name Napa in the branding or Napa appellations are listed on wine labels, however in both of these scenarios the wine itself doesn’t legally qualify for their use.  Wines that are following either of these two practices are taking claim to a pedigree that they don’t deserve. It’s not surprising, afterall the name Napa can give a wine a certain appeal and thus perhaps boost sales and allow it to be sold at a higher price point.

What it comes down to is only wines which qualify for certain uses of Napa are legally allowed to use it. This includes their branding or the appellation used on their labels. Wineries that are bottling wine or businesses which have their wine bottled at those sites need to be aware of the federal and state of California regulations when they are designing their labels. Wines that are found in violation can be confiscated and destroyed by the California ABC and the winery that bottled the wine can lose their ABC license. At a bare minimum a wine would be required to be relabeled.

 

Our next course, When does a wine qualify for Napa? covers the following about what wineries need to know:

  • The federal regulations specific to the use of Napa and/or Napa appellations in brand names
  • The federal regulations specific to the minimum percentages required for using Napa Valley and other types of Napa appellations
  • The California laws that regulate the use of Napa
  • Examples of wine blends that do qualify for different types of Napa appellations or using Napa in their brand name
  • Handout materials & quizzes are included as well as the ability to ask questions throughout the course

 

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